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The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight
May 17th, 2007 
There was a mini-This or That in last week's poll. subbes asked if she should spend an exorbitant amount of money on a piece of furniture, and I figured if enough people correctly identified the expensive Blu Dot tables from the Ikea tables, it would prove the value of the name brand. I need to get better at explaining when you can choose more than one answer. I guess I figure the check versus the button is self-explanatory, but hey what do I know. Anyhoo, these are the Blu Dot Tables:

The first one was the most commonly identified as an expensive table, with 7 of 11 people guessing it's a Blu Dot. The cheap table most commonly thought to be an expensive table (5/11) was this one:

So there you have it. Should one spend $500 on a table nearly indistinguishable from an Ikea table? You be the judge.
Attn: Internet Wines and Sprits Customer Service

I'm writing to complain about the quality of service I've received during my first and last experience with your store. I was excited to hear about it and last week I ordered a six pack of Fat Tire for my friend's birthday. It hadn't arrived by today, so I checked the status of the order and saw it had been cancelled. I didn't get an email about it, so I called.

I spoke to Jase Bennett, who said it was because I live in Virginia that it got cancelled. I thought I read the list of states on your checkout page pretty closely to make sure Virginia wasn't on it. I asked Jase if I just missed it or if it's not on there, and if it's not there, maybe it should be added? His glib and uncaring response was "I don't have access to that. Best of luck." I tried to re-explain myself, adding that I understand rules are rules, but if this is a rule and it's not on the website, maybe it should be. Jase told me he didn't know if it was on the website or not, apparently is unable to look at the website, but it was moot either way, since that's the rule so your store can no do no further business with me and topped it off with another "best of luck."

I suppose it *is* moot, if you can't ship anything to me, you cannot conduct further business with me, so why bother being courteous to me?

The point of this email is not to challenge the shipping laws or whatever rules there are in existence, but to recommend you update your website and improve your customer communication. Because of this, I didn't have a gift for my friend's birthday. Had I known when I ordered that I couldn't buy it, I would have shopped elsewhere.

I guess this email is as moot as my call - but for Jase and any other operators you have on staff, here's the warning on your shipping page: We cannot ship alcoholic beverages to: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. Also listed are special shipping prices for Virginia addresses.

So if another customer from Virginia calls and wonders why their friend hasn't gotten their birthday present yet, Jase and anyone else can explain that even though it's not on the list of forbidden states or the Virginia shipping prices on the website, you cannot ship to Virginia, and it is your policy to wait for the customer to contact you to learn this.

Best of Luck,

That's Internet Wines and Sprits:
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